WebMD launches kid's obesity awareness websites

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WebMD is expanding its wellness and prevention offering with several children's fitness sites aimed at besting childhood obesity. 

The websites—Fit Junior, for ages 2-7, Fit Kids, for ages 8-12, and Fit Teens, for ages 13-19, along with a site for parents called Raising Fit Kids—are WebMD's first for kids, and come as part of an educational partnership with Sanford Health, a top nonprofit rural healthcare provider and a leader in children's medical research. 

The sites will offer personalized resources and support to help promote and maintain a healthy lifestyle for kids based on “the four factors of healthy living: food, mood, recharge and move.”

On the professional side, Medscape will offer resources aimed at helping physicians combat childhood obesity among their patients. 

The publisher doesn't yet have advertisers lined up for the consumer and professional sites but is in talks with “several large corporate sponsors,” a spokesperson said. “We are committed to improving the health of children and their families across all health and wellness issues and we can't think of anything more important than the prevention of childhood obesity,” said CEO Wayne Gattinella.

According to Centers for Disease Control data, childhood obesity now affects 17% of children and adolescents in the US—triple the rate from just a generation ago—and one in seven preschool-aged low-income kids.

Sioux Falls, SD-based Sanford Health operates seven research centers across the plains states, along with hospitals, clinics, long-term care and assisted living facilities, and an HMO.

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